It’s pretty breath-taking

Shaftesbury is one of the prettiest, historic market towns in Dorset with buildings dating back to the 15th century. It has breath-taking views too, thanks to a hilltop location that overlooks Thomas Hardy’s Blackmore Vale countryside and villages. Perfect for town and country pursuits!

Shaftsbury, Dorset

It has a golden past

The town has a fascinating history going back to Saxon Times. King Alfred established an Abbey here for this daughter (you can still visit the ruins today) and King Canute died here in the 11th Century. In the 1980s it became famous for something very different – Hovis Bread – when cobbled street Gold Hill became the star of Ridley Scott’s ‘Boy on the Bike’ advert.

Shaftsbury, Dorset

It supports a local economy

Thursday’s weekly Charter Market is a reminder of
Shaftesbury’s roots as a popular market town. This heritage has been brought up to date with regular farmers markets, Sunday markets, book fairs and flea markets, giving you plenty of ways for you to shop locally and ethically. The county classic – Shaftesbury & Gillingham Agriculture Show with displays of livestock, horticultural exhibits and handicrafts, showcases the best of Dorset.

Shaftsbury, Dorset

There’s an independent spirit

Shaftesbury has a Tesco and there’s a Waitrose in nearby
Gillingham, but the town is also full of independent businesses too. We like The Botanical Candle Co for lifestyle products (and their quirky gift boxes), Mine and Willow for fashion and interiors, and The Grosvenor Arms, Mitre Pub and Salt Cellar for food and drinks.

Shaftsbury, Dorset

Get your culture fix

Messums Gallery have opened just across the border in nearby Tisbury, Wiltshire, giving you access to an array of artists and exhibitions in a rural setting, while in town Shaftesbury Arts Centre has plenty of courses, shows and gigs all year round. The nearby Larmer Tree Gardens hosts two popular festivals, including the Larmer Tree Festival and award-winning End of the Road Festival. And look out for the Shaftesbury Festival of Literature coming in Autumn 2020!

Shaftsbury, Dorset

More Information

Shaftesbury Schools

Primary – Shaftesbury C of E Primary, The Abbey C of E Primary
Secondary – Shaftesbury

Prep – Port Regis, Clayesmore, Sandroyd
Senior – Clayesmore

Rail Links:

Gillingham (5miles) – Waterloo

More info